I know I’m a little late on this — I’ve been busy, okay? But I wanted to add my two cents on the wild weekend that just passed.
First, the trade deadline and the acquisition of Javier Baez. Baez is a great player, no question about that. He makes the Mets a better team. He is capable of giving the team a spark like Yoenis Cespedes did in 2015, carrying them all the way to the World Series.
He will fill in at short until his pal Francisco Lindor comes back. Then, he probably moves to second base, with Jeff McNeill sliding over to third. That will vastly improve defense over there, but losing J.D. Davis’s bat from the lineup will hurt. Maybe McNeill plays some outfield so Davis can get some at bats? With McNeill and the three regulars out there all lefties, there can be no platoon. And let’s not put Davis in the outfield — he was worse there than third.
So that’s all good, right? Well, the Mets paid a heavy price — everybody is really high on Pete Crow-Armstrong. Some analysts calling him the best player the Cubs picked up in their trading frenzy, their center fielder of the future. Yes, he’s injured and so many prospects do not pan out. But the Mets have a shortage of outfield prospects; this was not a deal from strength the way they traded Michael Fulmer for Cespedes. The Mets were loaded with young pitching at the time. But if Baez can lead the Mets to the promised land, no one will care in Crow-Armstrong ends up in Cooperstown some day.
Here’s my prediction — Baez loves playing in New York with his buddy and the Mets sign him to a big deal, getting the money earmarked for Michael Conforto. They are the same age and Baez has a much better track record, and likely a better future, than Conforto. So Baez in, Conforto out.
The rest of the deadline was a disappointment. The Mets did not address their rotation (I don’t consider Trevor Williams to be addressing anything) and they did not shore up the bullpen. One more arm would have been nice.
Speaking of pitching, Jacob deGrom. We learned on Friday that he will now probably be out until September. This is not good. The Mets go nowhere in the playoffs without a healthy deGrom. It makes the deadline failure to acquire another pitcher than much more damaging.
And speaking of not acquiring pitcher, how about not signing first-round draft pick Kumar Rocker? The Mets say they didn’t like what they saw in his medicals, while agent Scott Boras says his client is healthy. Unless what they saw was potentially career-ending, the Mets should have just given him the $6 million and hoped for the best. Isn’t that what Steve Cohen’s billions were supposed to bring to Flushing?
Whatever actually happened, the Mets look like laughingstocks once again. Of course they do — were things really going to change when the man who presided over the Mets dysfunction for the better part of a decade is still running the show? Things like this will keep happening as long as Sandy Alderson is in the front office. Say what you want about the Wilpons, but Alderson was part of everything they did. He’s got to go.
Nothing bad to say about the Mets Hall of Fame inductions. All worthy players. But when does David Wright go in? He retired in 2018. It should have been done in 2019, as well as retiring his number. What are the Mets waiting for?